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i love her puffy feathers!
Fancy & Huevo.


tiny is soooo very tiny.
but the loudest of the whole group.

i will be so bummed if Fancy is a rooster.
with all that eyeliner… surely she is a hen.
being a model is hard work.
sometimes you fall asleep on the job…

we just got our chicks at our local Orschelin.
we chose from their supply… Americanas, Barred Rocks and Bantums.

The lovely one - So cute! Too bad they grow into chickens…. I love to keep them as cute baby chicks forever!

Kim - Meg,
I love the chick pics, they make me feel Springy!

p.s.Thanks for the beautiful wrapping and terrific service regarding my new apron (Jane) and pillow cover (whales) I recently bought from you. Such beautiful work, I absolutely love them both.

Carrie - So cute! I work at the Orscheln home office – I was hoping you got the ladies from us!

Lorraine - Eeek!! I just love lil’ chicks!!! You have a sweet bunch there!! We have bought chicks, had mama’s hatch them and have incubated our hens eggs! It’s all so much fun! You should look into an incubator, there is nothing like counting down the days and watching those little babes break through those tough shells!!!!

Janet - Fabulous photos–I especially love the ones of all the chickens together in lines!!

sharon / - these chicks got swag. even when napping ;)

Dana Powell - It is fascinating to me that it is not evident that chicks are either male or female. I would love to have some one day, but right now are neighborhood association restricts it (that, and we live in a foreign country and travel frequently…). Anyway, I’m sure you’ve done your research, but have you seen this I got from

– Pullets usually get their wing and tail feathers before cockerels (in the first week or so).
– At around 5 to 6 weeks, sometimes sooner, you will see definate comb development on the cockerels in most breeds (it will start to redden, whilst the pullets will still be yellowy).
– At 2-3 months you will see the hackle feathers developing on the males. They will start to get longer and will be more pointed.
– Cockerels are usually braver – if you walk into your henhouse and accidentally sneeze, the pullets should be the ones that scattered!
– Cockerels have more pointed feather tips.
– Cockerels are usually bigger by a few weeks old.
– Pullets tend to have a smaller, round head, compared to the cockerels larger more angular one.
– Cockerels usually have longer legs (look for spur development).

All of these general signs are indications – not certainties. There are always exceptions to the rule, and not all breeds will conform to the general signs. You may have a really friendly timid cockerel in your bunch masquerading as a pullet (and vice versa).


Barred Rocks and Cuckoo Marans – Males have wider white barring. They will often appear more silvery-grey than black. The males usually have a much larger, splotchier headspot.

Rhode Island Reds – By 5 weeks males have larger and thicker legs and a larger (pinkening) comb and wattle area.

Salmon Faverolles – By 2 weeks you can usually see a difference in the colours on the wings. Black should indicate a cockerel. Salmon brown should indicate a pullet.

Silkies – It can be several months before signs start to appear. Boys tend to stand more erect and girls more likely to be short and squatty. If the feathers swoop back towards the neck on the crest, then it is likely to be a boy.

White Crested Polish – The females tend to get more fluffy, mushroom looking crests.

OLD WIVES TALES – take with a pinch of salt!

If you pick a chick up with two fingers by the neck, the pullets will draw their legs up to their body and the cockerels legs will dangle.

Hold your chick on their back in your hand. If they stop kicking after a short time, it’s a pullet, if they keep kicking it’s a cockerel.

Needle and Thread – dangle the needle over your chick … if it moves around and around it is a female, if it swings back and forth it is male – this is supposed to work for both chicks and eggs.

However you try to determine the sex of chicks you won’t know for sure until it crows or lays an egg – but it can be a lot of fun finding out :-)

I’m waiting on pins and needles alongside you.
Love your blog, been reading for years but rarely comment. :)

Annie - This is the sweetest and funniest post and so cleverly written. Funny that you named them and I hope Greta Garbo doesn’t turn into Clark Gable either (the rooster with eyeliner!)

Mindy - Cuteness overload! I was scrolling through and thinking these diva chicks look like they are on a modeling shoot and then I saw you you referred to them as models at the end. They COULD be in a magazine for sure!

Angela - I was so close to buying ducks on Friday! Unlike Mr. Duerksen, my husband would’ve been, uh, less than pleased. ;) I’ve always wanted ducks and chickens and your pics have been giving me chick fever! (Is that a thing? Just go with it…)

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we have been busy…

spring break is over half way done.
my nieces were here since sunday.
we have had a lot of fun so far.
i have a big painting project going on at the Craft House… shipping all the aprons & bunting… THANK YOU everyone for all the orders!

creepy weirdos.

running for the bus on a snowy morning about two weeks ago.
those tulips couldn’t have matched my chairs ANY BETTER!IMG_2479
neighborhood watch.

healthy snack.

antique store swooning.

new tulips in red instead of orange.

scott’s last home game… i hate when basketball season in over.

both the boys team and the girls team won the 3A Sub State Championship!
the boys didn’t move on any farther unfortunately but the girls won State for the 2nd year in a row!
talby had a volleyball tournament last week… i think it’s her last for quite awhile.

this is my running route when i am alone.
kinda… e m p t y.


craft house porch sitting.

she likes to go out right around the time dad gets home from work so he can see that she is practicing.
she’s a smart one!
sneaking over to the Craft House in my pajamas to take a bath last week.
i put my phone out of reach so i could just focus on my book.
have you read this?
Restless: Because You Were Made for More
I am like… crazy for it.
i am thinking you would love it because it seems MOST of us are searching for MORE out of life?
try it and see… i think it’s really good.

closer than necessary.

after school snack.
a big day calls for the power leggings.
it’s possible that they have super hero qualities…
(they are made by Under Armour.  i stalked them all winter and when they went on clearance i snagged them with a coupon on top! BOOM.)

i went in for a covered button kit….
i came out with all these.

piano practice and a poser.

a rare moment with a Rhode Island Red… they are usually so quick!
i caught her though.

annie and my niece love to play restaurant and they have been playing “Sunflower Sisters” for years.
it’s a very fun tradition!
i ordered the yogurt with strawberries and a coffee.


we hit the zoo…IMG_3038IMG_3058
this giraffe was loving all the close up attention.
and so were we!
we stopped at the farm store for a water dish and left with 8 new baby chicks!
and annie reeeeeally wanted a duck.
who wouldn’t?!

this is Fancy.
the one i picked and insisted we get.IMG_3200
this one is Tiny.


Waffle is thinking about having a “Fancy” dinner.

Is it me or does Sundae look like she’s all Beyonce in this picture?
the littler one on the left is Boots.

Sundae and Fancy.
i am hoping for less roosters than hens this round.

Wichita has a new trampoline park… Urban Air.
that was totally worth the money for two hours of FUN! (the website has a coupon!)
then lauren met us for lunch and swimming too!
snack dinner!
i heard “YAY!!! I LOVE snack dinner!” when i called the kids in.
which made me so happy!

this is a block from my house… a calf was just out on the road.
as i was considering how to help it, i spooked it and it took off back to the farm.

for our last night with my nieces we had a late night slumber party at the Craft House.
the little girls were shocked when i agreed to a SECOND movie at 10:30 pm!
i said “well this IS a slumber party!”
i painted while they watched.

they played SORRY while i made gluten free pumpkin muffins.
to which we all agreed that they were a fail… they tasted like eating a plain sweet potato.
not what we wanted from our pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.
at least we had other things to eat!

then we drove them home after our 5 days together…. such a great visit!

i am hoping to work on the paint project tomorrow and all weekend.
Hope Spoken is in a week… not freaking out but yet… totally freaking out.
i am excited about everything!
just nervous about my speaking – and i do not even know what i am going to say yet!
soon… soon… soon.   i can feel it coming together and swirling around in my head.
(thank you jesus!)
but just know that i will cry… if i stood up and gave the weather report i would STILL cry.
it’s just what i do.
i cry.


lastly… there is still ONE apron left in the shop.
i love her so much.
i can’t believe she’s left all  by herself… she’s the life of the party for sure.
maybe she appears too wild in photos?
she is royal blue, spring green and a beautiful bright pink… seriously such a great combo!
the turquoise and the lime green in the floral pattern are perfection!

have a super weekend!
i am DYING to finish my paint project to show the world because you are going to freak!!
it’s completely dreamy and rad.

must go to sleep now… it’s 12:53…yikes!


ira lee - looks like a ton of fun and if you could just call me before the next week like this, that’d be great!! lol

beth larson - so….did Annie get the duck? So adorbs- and I can’t wait to see your painting project- this was a great post!! xo

Katherine @ Grass Stains - Meg, when I saw this idea, I knew I had to send it to you. It is SO YOU! I can see you doing this with your girls. :-)

Lynette L. - I love posts like this! You take the best pictures! Your dogs pose so well – mine is always moving so she is just a blur in the pictures I take.

Kerry - Have you read “Anything” By Jennie Allen? I have it on hold at the library now.

Stephanie - I LOVE that apron. It was that one, the Ruby, and a couple others that I picked out as my favorites. So if she looks too wild, I guess that’s my taste! Lol.

Amy Woods - Lovely. All.

sharon / - i believe tulips go with Everything! (that’s my story and I’m sticking with it:))

s - Totally random but what kind of curling wand is that and does it work as well as it looks like it does???!!

Heather - Random thoughts that I can’t post on Facebook because I’m taking a break;

you prompted me to buy tulips yesterday, on the first day of spring

I read 7 last week while on holiday in Cuba and now I’m off FB and a moms board that I’ve been on for 12 years that consistently annoys me. LOL I am now reading A million miles in a thousand years, which you had recommended to me.

Andrea - Meg…I just love seeing peeks into your colorful world…..and your dogs just crack me up! Happy Spring!

Flower Patch Farmgirl - Best way to start my day, right here. That bball shot of Talby (?) is so awesome! And I’m going to do snack dinner soon.

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for sale on monday!

on monday at 7:30 PM all of these amazing ruffled aprons go up for sale in my shop!!
coming soon after that… a ruffled apron KIT with all the pieces and the pattern to make one of these aprons on your own at home!

the pattern will also be available separately to make it with your own fabric.

the flowered pins will be for sale when the kits are ready.

aren’t they all so pretty?!
i can’t choose a favorite.
they are all my favorites.
AND i will have more Happy Craft House Mini Scrap Bunting!!

it’s 13 feet long with 100 mini flags in at least 25 different patterns.

Monday at 7:30 pm – central time zone.



Adrienne - Prices so I can prepare?!!!!

Heidi Durant - I need the Louise for my daughter Emmah Louise, and I need both the Lucy and Edith for my daughter, Lucy Edith!!! You just made my choice so much easier. Now hopefully I will get them before anyone else!

Lisa McCracken - Oh I hope I can get one. I’ve been waiting for these!!

Lori - LOVE the bunting!

Molly - I have a daughter named Edith Louise….so your names of your aproms made me so happy to see. Wanna make an Esther Minnie, too? Love your blog!

Jacci in Ohio - Hey, Meg :) Just wanted to let you know your Big Cartel link is goofed. It has your blog link connected to it at the beginning so it just goes to a page not found.

Looking forward to the open shop! I’d love some of your bunting!

Alice H - I should probably buy the ALICE one!! Great name! LOL

KirstenP - I like the white edging on each of the ruffles! Can that be done using the Singer Sewing Machines you’ve mentioned buying at Amazon?

Jenny B. - Yay! I was bummed when I saw the post title because I figured I had already missed the sale. LOVE that you’re opening it in the evening!

Liz R. - I love them all, but Ruby is my favorite. :) Can’t wait for the kit and pattern! SUCH a good idea to sell these! Absolutely beautiful.

sharon / - buntings are from heaven. thank you heaven.

Kelly - I cry too. Especially during worship. Or hearing a testimony. Or sharing a testimony. Or reading about something God’s been doing……..I have just decided it is my spiritual gift ;)

The lovely one - I love the idea of selling a kit! I hope the instructions are super detailed and easy to understand for the craftily challenged like me!

Any chance you’ll have contest and give a kit away? :)

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sweet potato & black bean chili

i rarely post recipes here any more… i think all the food blogs scare me away from it.
but i made this the other night by throwing things together and it was delish!
and of course chili is not your typical spring-is-coming recipe but i always just blog what is current and THIS is happening in my house right now… 70 degrees outside or not.  :) Like i am literally eating a bowl of this… in my pajamas at 2:17 in the afternoon right now.

i had all of this in pantry so i threw it all together.  :)


after you brown the ground beef you can add your onions to the beef to cook or just toss it all in one big pot.
all the ingredients.

i don’t think it’s possible to take a pretty picture of chili…. IMG_0188
but i did clean my stove top just to take these pictures.

stir it up and let it come to a boil.
then turn down the heat to low, cover it and let it simmer for 30-45 minutes.
When the sweet potatoes are tender then it’s ready.
You can add more spice if you need it.
or more water if it’s too thick.
and if you have a packet of chili seasoning… you could use that instead.

Of course you can top it with cheese, sour cream & chips if you’d like too.
but just avocados is so good too!

here is the recipe all rainbowed and pretty!


Julie - Looks delicious – definitely something my family will eat come the winter months..

jamie - that looks and sounds so delicious! i know i would LOVE more recipes from you! don’t let all those other food blogs keep you from sharing if that’s what you want to do! and {high five} for cleaning your stove top. not a fun task!

sharon / - AND avocado on top? licked the screen, died and gone to heaven.

Kristin S - Oh, Meg, this looks delicious! I’m about to embark on a 28-day eating plan that is a beef-once-a-week dealio. Oy. I think the “no dairy” will be the hardest part. BUT I think I’ll try this recipe with ground chicken. Yummy!

Rachel - Well, we never got a winter, so I have been living vicariously through winter food. This looks amazing. Thank you for the recipe!

Kimberlee Jost - Sounds and looks GOOD!

Gemma - I’ve always really enjoyed your foodie/recipe posts! We always make your Apple bars in the autumn and your blueberry buckle in the summer months. Please carry on sharing :)

Gemma x

Mindy - My husband would love this. I make a black bean/ sweet potato chili often but it is a vegetarian version. I love it with cornbread (hello carbs!). I add sour cream on top but your idea of avocado sounds delicious!

Linda - Please don’t stop posting your recipes. My family has fallen in love with your pancake recipe. This chili recipe looks so good.

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